A PENSIONER has won a payout from travel giants Thomson Airways after a legal battle.

Ken Chaisty, aged 71, organised a family holiday to celebrate his 65th birthday in 2007.

It included a flight to Tenerife and a cruise around the Canary Islands.

But the holiday got off to a bad start when Mr Chaisty, his wife and two sons were held up when their Thomson Airways flight was delayed by eight hours.

It meant the family was too tired to enjoy the first few days of their holiday and instead had to catch up on lost sleep.

Mr Chaisty, of George Street, Horwich, said: “They told us it was down to a faulty fuel gauge eventually but at the time there was a real lack of information.”

Mr Chaisty was frustrated by the experience and wrote to Thomson but was told no compensation would be forthcoming.

He then forgot about the ordeal until he saw an article in a national newspaper five years later.

Mr Chaisty said: “A man had won compensation after a delayed flight and he was telling others to take the big boys on — so I did.”

He contacted Joe Egan’s solicitors, in Bolton town centre, and worked with solicitor Matthew Stokes and paralegal Sean Heywood.

UK law states such claims must be filed within six years and Mr Chaisty filed his case with just weeks to spare.

Mr Stokes and Mr Heywood then began research and preparation and on April 4 they fought Mr Chaisty’s case at Bolton County Court against the airline’s barrister.

They had originally applied for a delay to the proceedings but a judge ruled the case should be heard on the day and found in favour of Mr Chaisty.

He was awarded 1,200 Euros in compensation — 400 for each member of the family. Thomson Airways could choose to contest the decision as long as it does so within 30 days of the hearing.

Mr Chaisty said: “From the day I walked into Egan’s those lads were brilliant to me.

“They were interested in helping me from the word go. For me it’s not about the money at all. I want to publicise this because I hope other people might see it and think, like I did, maybe I can take these people on and win.

“It’s a moral victory and a victory for the common man.”

The Bolton News contacted Thomson Airways but a spokesman said the firm does not comment on settlements.